Saturday, May 31, 2014

Saturday Evening (Blog) Post

I bought this 1947 copy of "The Saturday Evening Post" from an estate sale for $1.  I loved the cover.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Mystery Game -- No Longer a Mystery!

Not so much a game about mystery as I just don't know what this game is.

I Am Forever Blowing Bubbles

With the coming of Memorial Day and the official start of summer, I'm reminded of what that meant to me as a child.  First, and foremost of course, was no school. Other benefits included sleeping in, family road trips,watching daytime television, playing in the woods behind our house, swimming in the backyard pool, reading comic books and generally just loafing around.  Inevitably, some portion of the summer would be spent blowing bubbles.  It wasn't something my sister and I did frequently, but at some point during the summer, we would decide it was time.  Sometimes, we even had the store-bought bubbles in the small plastic jar that came with the two-sided wand that would always slide down inside the jar causing you to search in frantic circles in the slippery liquid.  Actually, I believe only one side was meant for blowing, the other for your finger, but frankly, I didn't see a difference in the bubble quality of those blown from either side.

My mother would chase us outside on the patio (no bubbles in the house, they stain the walls!) at which point my father would run us off the patio (no bubbles on the patio, it stains the concrete!)  Once out in the grass, we'd blow bubbles to our heart's content, chasing them, popping them with our fingers, catching them on your tongue and deciding to never try that again because they tasted so awful, and trying to catch them on the wand so we could blow the elusive double bubble.

More often than not, we didn't have the store-bought bubble variety.  My mother convinced us the magic solution was nothing more than soap detergent and water (actually, it also contains glycerin which gives bubbles their elasticity and which is why I could never blow a decent bubble with my mom's concoction.)  But her mixture was effective for bubble blowing pipes where only a frothy mixture was needed.

I found these vintage bubble pipes at a garage sale for a quarter.  It brought back bubble-blown memories of summer.

Friday, May 23, 2014

What was on TV May 19th through 25th, 1979

Schlemieling and schlimazeling all over the cover of this week's TV Guide from 1979 is another Richard Amsel painting of Laverne & Shirley.  I'm not sure why TV Guide always had paintings instead of actual photos.  Maybe they didn't have to pay stars if they didn't use their actual image.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


I found these "Bowl-Up"  playing cards at a sale a few weeks ago.  I like the artwork.  It seems recognizable, but it might just be a familiar style.   This Flickr page has a set that's signed "Vic Take" which is probably a pseudonym.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


I found this wall hanger figurine last weekend for $1. 

Her name is "Zorina" and she was made by the Ceramic Art Studios of Madison, Wisconsin -- in 1951, according to the year pencilled on her back.  She is typically accompanied by "Zor".

The Ceramic Arts Studio of Madison, Wisconsin began in 1940, originally selling hand-thrown pots. A chance meeting with a secretary and amateur artist named Betty Harrington who stopped by to have an incense burner she had modeled fired lead to her employment with the company for the next 13 years.  Until the studio closed in 1955, Betty was the chief designer and even created the molds for the 500,000 figurines annually produced.  Cheaper Japanese imports eventually put the company out of business.

Monday, May 19, 2014

All's Fair in Love and Wallets

When I was about 10 years old, I bought my first wallet.  I believe It was a souvenir of The Shepherd of the Hills in Branson, Missouri. It was red-dyed leather with a tooled image of a horse head and had black, plastic-thong-wrapped edging and a button snap.  It came with an ID card to fill out, which I did of course, writing my name in my best script.  I had an allowance, so I did have occasion for using it, although my money typically went quickly to comic books and candy.  I believe I also carried a school photo of my 5th grade girlfriend.  All of that is what made this weekend's find personally relatable.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Sunburst Clock

I have a habit of rotating things out of my collection when I find the next version of the object.  For example, coffee pots come and go as do toasters.  

A while back I found this mid century sunburst clock at an estate sale. It was pretty dirty and I made my best effort to restore it.

Last week, I came across another mid century starburst clock.  This one was labeled $5 "as is".

Thursday, May 15, 2014

What was on TV May 13th through 19th, 1978

We're back yet again with another week of TV Guide.  Special thanks once again to friend John for providing some comic relief.

This week's guide features Merlin Olsen "photo-bombing" the Ingalls' family portrait.  Well, I guess technically, it's "painting-bombing".

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

There's Always Room for Jell-O

I might be pushing it as this is my third post of the day, but you know what they say...(See title of this post).

I bought this booklet a few weeks back.  It dates from 1930.  I liked the art and maybe someone will use the recipes.  Of course, you can still get recipes from Jell-O, but these days they've gone high-tech and upscale.

Enjoy this peek into Jell-O's jiggly past.

Little Golden Oddities

Some time over the years of garage saling I began collecting Little Golden Books which is a little odd because, with the exception of a few Christmas-themed ones,  I never had any as a child.

Here are a few atypical Golden Books I picked up recently.

"Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood: Henrietta Meets Someone New" 1974

"The Love Bug: Herbie's Special Friend" 1974

"Gene Autry and Champion" 1956

"Marlin Perkins' Wild Kingdom" 1976

"Donny and Marie: The Top Secret Project" 1977

"The Good Humor Man" 1964 (1992 reprint)

What's This, A Blog?

Yes, as a matter of fact it is a game.  

I found this card game at an estate sale in Webster Groves last week.  I recognized the artist, but couldn't quite place him.  The cards appear to feature smart aleck answers to unknown questions such as "No, you bonehead, I'm flavoring a plum pudding with hair tonic" and "No, Theophilus, I'm eating elephant's knuckles at a clam bake."  If these remind you of  Mad's Al Jaffe's "Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions", there's a reason -- more on that later.  I presumed, and later confirmed, the object of the game is to supply the correct question being answered, not unlike Jeopardy.

Perhaps as mysterious as the gags in these cartoons, is the fact someone has written various grains and numbers on the cards in pencil, possibly creating their own game.


After doing some googling, I discovered the artist is Rube Goldberg, known for his illustrated mechanical contraptions, and the cards date from 1919.

An excellent blog on these cards and their history can be read over on the Screwball Comics blog.

According to that site, Al Jaffe gives credit to Rube Goldberg and his "Foolish Questions" as inspiration for his own work.

For some more scans of the cards, including #51 which I'm missing and the questions to these snappy answers, head over to Super I.T.C.H and follow the links for the 4-part series.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Evel Knievel Stunt Game

Arguably, the 1970's knew no greater legend than Evel Knievel.  As a child, he fascinated me with his death-defying jumps and fearless attitude.  I never had his toys, but he was the closest to a real-life superhero I had ever seen.

Last Thursday during lunch I hit an estate sale in Sappington Acres subdivision.  There, I found this.

Every time I look at that kid, I think he's eating a nacho.  He's actually holding trophy cards.

The kid who owned this didn't apply the provided stickers to Evel, except for one near the foot pegs.

The object of the game is to perform 6 stunts for which you earn one trophy each.  The motor turns Evel around the track pretty fast, so it is difficult to achieve them.  They include stopping the bike on a particular section of the track labeled "Pit Stop". 

Another involves rolling the provided wheel down a ramp while Evel races around the track.  If the wheel makes it across the track without being struck, you've succeeded.  More a test of luck than skill.  

The third challenge is to jump the ramp, but stop the bike (using the "Brake" button) before hitting the barrels.  

The fourth stunt is to stop the motorcycle on the ramp, kind of like Evel did prior to making his jump.  This is particularly difficult because the motorcycle has a tendency to slide back down the ramp.  

The fifth stunt involves an incline that mounts on the motor that causes the motorcycle to do a "wheelie".  The challenge is to stop the motorcyle in the wheelie stance.

The final stunt involves the incline as well.  The goal is to perform a "loop the loop" off of the incline and stop in front of the grand stand.

The original instructions were still with it and detail the setup and required stunts.

I'm debating painting the motorcycle in Evel's #1 red, white and blues, but I haven't decided as that may affect the value.  I probably will eventually sell the game, but not until I'm done playing with it.

I had the opportunity to meet Evel in 2005 and I felt like a kid talking to him, starstruck and tongue tied.  He was still full of bluster, cursing a local St. Louis promoter who had cheated him out of money 40 years prior. Evel leaped that golden ramp into the afterlife just two years later (I was going to say "Heaven" instead of "afterlife", but given the life Evel lived, I'm not so sure he made that jump!).

The leap that made Evel a star as shot by Linda Evans, John Derek's then wife:

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